Mancini hits out over schedule

PA Sport
Roberto Mancini

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Roberto Mancini

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini claims it is little wonder England struggle in major tournaments when players sometimes get little respite between domestic fixtures.

The Italian has expressed anger at his side's schedule ahead of Tuesday night's Carling Cup quarter-final at Arsenal, a match that will kick off around 50 hours after a draining Barclays Premier League clash at Liverpool ended.

Mancini feels he has no choice but to play an entirely different side and has even threatened to send out junior team players if the situation arises again. He said: "We will change all the team because this is an incredible situation."

He added: "For this reason the national team arrives at European Championships and World Cups and they are dying - they do not have time to recover.

"To play in two days, two games like this, after a Champions League game, is incredible. I think the players should say something about this.

"For the players it is important to play, but it is important also to recover, a minimum three days between one game and another."

Mancini's comments echo similar sentiments expressed by Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish, who must also prepare a side to play at Chelsea in the Carling Cup tomorrow.

Mancini said: "I agree with him.

"I think sometimes we should play with 11 young players, 14-15 years. It is not correct, this, not only for us but all the players."

Mancini would have been forced to leave out Gareth Barry and Mario Balotelli for the trip to the Emirates Stadium anyway with both now serving a one-game ban. Former England midfielder Owen Hargreaves, fit again after a minor calf injury and looking to resurrect his career with City, is one prominent player likely to feature.

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